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Grant number: GE-50587-12

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New Bedford Whaling Museum (New Bedford, MA 02740-6398)
Gregory J. Galer (Project Director: August 2011 to March 2012)
Michael Dyer (Project Director: March 2012 to September 2013)
Alison Meyer Smart (Project Director: September 2013 to present)

New Bedford: The Commercial and Industrial Evolution of an American Port City

Planning for a long-term exhibition, public programs, and educational materials on the history of commerce and industry in New Bedford, Massachusetts, following the decline of whaling, the city's founding industry.

The Old Dartmouth Historical Society/New Bedford Whaling Museum seeks funding to plan a multidisciplinary exhibition telling a series of interconnected stories of how individual risk takers and their families built an efficient, self-reinforcing business network in New Bedford, New England and throughout the world using profits earned through whaling. As whaling entered its decline, these family networks used their successful investment and management systems to strategically diversify, building on their strengths in banking, finance and insurance, into pioneering start-ups in railroads, textiles, manufacturing and trade and commercial fishing. The project will also demonstrate why, after several periods of prosperity, many of these industries, so innovative at their inception, declined--a rise and fall that created the urban, social environment of today.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

America's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2013 – 8/31/2014